Wallpaper from Wood Samples
This wood grows in Central and Tropical South America. The appearance of snakewood is similar to that of snakeskin with its speckled black patterns on red/brown background. Sometimes it is also spotty like leopard spots, or speckled with peculiar markings. It has a powerfully sweet fragrance when cut. It is extremely hard, heavy and dense and takes a remarkable polish almost like a polished stone. Its density is about 81 pounds per cubic foot (1300 kilograms per cubic meter). This wood with its remarkable patterns is very difficult to work as it splits easily and is prone to many fine checks, or cracks, as a result of its drying process. It will often check just as a result of too much heat from the friction of sanding. It is difficult to create a finished piece of any size and feel confidence that it will not eventually crack. So because of its rich pattern and color and its tendency to check, it is best used only for inlays or highlights on ornamental turning.
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Last revised February 4, 1996.